Types of Verbals, Participles, Gerund, Infinitive

In this article we will learn how many types of Verbals are there, Using verbals. After reading the whole article, you can simply check your knowledge with the help of the worksheet.

Verbals Definition: A verbal is a noun or adjective formed from a verb. In a general way, Verbals express action without limiting the action to any time or asserting it to any subject.

Types of verbals

Types of verbals

There are three different kinds of verbals:

  1. Participle (which acts as an adjective)
  2. Gerund (which acts as a noun)
  3. Infinitive (which also acts as a noun)

The main difference between verbals and other nouns and adjectives is that verbals can take their own objects, even though they are no longer verbs.

1. Participles verbals

A participle is an adjective formed from a verb in the sentence. To make a present participle, we have to add -ing to the verb, sometimes doubling the final consonant. (Read participles rules, uses)

  1. Sing becomes singing
  2. play becomes playing
  3. fall becomes falling
  4. run becomes running
  5. beg becomes begging

Another type of participle, the past participle, is a little more complicated, since not all verbs form the past tense regularly. The following are all past participles:

Examples of Participles

  1. the drunken man
  2. a ruined city
  3. a misspelled word

Note: Past participles do not take objects (unless they are part of a compound verb). Only transitive verbs can use their past participles as adjectives and that unlike other verbals, 

2. Gerund verbals

Definition: It is denoted by ‘V1 + ing’. It acts as a noun and a verb. Hence Gerund is also called Verb-noun. Make a gerund is very easy, we only have to add -ing to the verb, just as with a present participle. (Read Gerund rules and uses)


  • Organising an event is a huge responsibility.

In this example, the noun phrase an event is the direct object of the verbal organising, even though event is a noun rather than a verb.

  • Borrowing money is not a good habit

borrowing is a gerund. It is the subject of the sentence. “Money” is the object of the gerund.

  • Seeing is believing.
    In this example, there are two gerunds. The first, seeing, is the subject of the sentence. The second, believing, is the subject complement.
  • I enjoy studying coins.
    In this example, the gerund is studying. The object of the gerund is coins.

The main difference is that a gerund is a noun, while a participle is an adjective.

Difference between Gerund and participle examples

  • Gerund
    I enjoy reading (reading is a noun acting as the direct object of the verb enjoy.)
  • Participle
    Keep away from the uncontrollable lunatic.

(Uncontrollable is an adjective modifying the noun lunatic.)

3. Infinitive verbals

An infinitive is the basic form of a verb as in to talk.

You know an infinitive always consists of ‘to’ and the base form of the verb. Here is a lost of infinitives which are often but not always, these two parts are together.  (Read Infinitive Rules, and uses)

to run, – to sleep, – to cry, – to shout, – to jump, – to play, – to dance, to read, – to eat, – to cheat, – to obey, – to order, – to buy.

These are not infinitives:

Do, does, did, doing, want, wants, wanted, wanting, excel, excels, excelled, excelling, pass, passes, passed, passing.

An infinitive followed by the simple form of the verb and will almost always begin with to:

to + verb = infinitive

Important Note: An infinitive is not a verb, So we cannot add -s, -es, -ed, or -ing in the end.

Examples of Infinitive

In a sentence, an Infinitives can be used as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Look at these examples:

To play is the only thing Pari wants to do once she finishes her exams.

  • To play functions as a noun because it is the subject of the sentence.
    I know this play is brilliant but my friend refuses to watch.
  • To watch functions as a noun because it is the direct object for the verb refuses.
    Wherever Shweta goes, she always carries a face wash to wash her face with.

To wash functions as an adjective because it modifies face wash.

An infinitive will almost always begin with to. Exceptions do occur, however. An infinitive will lose it’s to when it follows verbs like feel, hear, help, let, make, see and watch.

The pattern looks like this:

special verb + direct object + infinitive to

Here are some examples:

  • When Amol heard the phone ring, he pressed the red button to on the answering machine.
    Heard= special verb
    phone = direct object
    ring = infinitive minus to.
  • Mother spent an extra hour helping us understand the concept of global warming.
    Helping = special verb
    us = direct object
  • Little Alice loved dogs so I removed the cover of the cage and let her pet it for a while.
    Let = special verb
    her = direct object
    pet = infinitive minus to.

These are infinitives:

  1. to do
  2. to want
  3. to excel
  4. to pass

Using Verbals

There are two common problems that come up when we use verbals.

The first is that since verbals look like verbs, they sometimes cause students to write fragmented sentences:

  1. Oh, to find true creativity!
  2. Ajit, playing the most important game of his life.

The second problem is a very fine point. Although they look the same, gerunds and present participles are different parts of speech and need to be treated differently.

For example, consider the following two sentences:

  1. I admire the dog finishing the race.
  2. I admire the dog’s finishing the race.

In the first example, finishing is a participle modifying the noun dog: in other words, the writer admires the dog, not what he is doing. In the second example, finishing is a participle, modified by the possessive noun dog’s. The writer admires not the dog but the fact that it is finishing the race.

Verbals Exercise/Worksheet

Verbal Exercise, read the questions, and select the correct option.

(1). Rani’s new house, battered by bad weather, looks worn.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(2). She had been working very hard to reach her goal.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(3). The opposition accepted the new laws.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(4). Swimming in the sea during a high tide is dangerous.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(5). Gaurav hopes to make it to the next round.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(6). When asked, the captain accepted that he had indeed slapped the player.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(7). Failing to fulfil the student’s demands, the Principal had to resign.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(8). Disappointed by his lack of concentration, the teacher gave up training him for the act.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(9). My mother said that selling the house was the only viable solution.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(10). The maid took away the little baby to feed him.

a. gerund
b. infinitive
c. participle
d. verb

(Types of Verbals)

Verbals PDF

Types of Verbals, Participles, Gerund, Infinitive

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